Ponysaurus brings fun and good beer to Durham

server pouring from tap

Many beers on tap at Ponysaurus.

Despite our best efforts, bloggers can sort of let the breweries get away from us. Because, you know, the fun part is really visiting the breweries – trying the beer, hanging out with friends, playing giant Jenga. But the photos and the unposted reviews start to back up… Yikes! So Tarheel Taps &Corks is at least making an effort to go back through the last few months brewery and winery visits share some places that were great to visit in winter. Just imagine how much more fun they will be this summer!

Ponysaurus Brewing Co., Durham

When I grew up in Durham, but there were just some part of town that, well, we never actually saw. And the Ponysaurus Brewing Co. at Ramseur St. and Fayetteville St. was one of those places – industrial, near the tracks, off the beaten path. But today, beer lovers are beating a path to the Ponysaurus in this neighborhood that is experiencing new life.

We visited back in March during the ACC tournament, and the night was warm enough to sit outside at one of the large community tables. There were so many beers to try that we ordered two flights.

The outdoor experience at Ponysaurus Brewing Co. is what it’s all about. In fact, there’s really not that much seating indoors, so I can’t really imagine what it would be like there in winter. But when the large garage doors are open, there are lawn tables, two upper deck seating areas and covered tables with screens right outside the taproom. Seems to be kid-friendly and dog-friendly (and even Duke-student friendly, but what can you do?) There are food trucks on the grounds also.

And here’s a fun summertime thing to do – you can reserve a grill at Ponysaurus, choose your meats and sides, arrive to have your picnic waiting for you. Grill and enjoy your dinner, throw your trash away and head home when you’re done. What a great idea!

Ponysaurus Brewing Co. Taproom
Corner of Ramseur and Fayetteville Streets, Durham
844.3MY.PONY

flight of four beers

Get a flight to try as many beers as possible.

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G2B raises the bar with local beer and local food

Andrew with three beers.

Brewer Andrew Christenbury shows off the first G2B brews. From left, Citra IPA, Porter, Rye Amber. Special glasses enhance the taste of all beers.

The Triangle food and beverage scene just keeps getting better. Recently, I visited Durham’s G2B gastropub to sample some fabulous locally sourced food and beer produced at the restaurant’s new nano-brewery.

First the beer: I was especially impressed by the G2B Rye Amber, a smooth, slightly fruity (in a good way) beer. The G2B Porter was very smooth, for those a little intimidated by dark beers. And the Smoked Paprika Pale Ale had smoky spice overtones – very unusual. (Didn’t try the Citra IPA, though others had good things to say about it.) Brewmaster Andrew Christenbury started out, like so many, as a home brewer and now shares his talent making small-batch local brews for G2B.

The bar and the brewery tasting area featured colored lights that changed slowly, giving the space a very urban feel. The open kitchen allows diners to see their food in preparation.

The restaurant on the Chapel Hill side of Durham has been around for three years, but recently changed the menu from American gastropub to European gastropub with an emphasis on local food. Chef Travis Robinson has partnered with some well-known area producers, including Goat Lady Dairy cheese, Green Button Farm lardo, Chadwick Creek Oysters, Seven Springs Farm pork and Mill’s Family Farm beef.

Pig's head

Barbecue was carved from the cheek of this guy. Very tender!

Now, I confess I’m not a real fan of charcuterie, but G2B had several choices that I enjoyed, including Green Butt Farm pork terrine with whole grain mustard ad well as a chicken liver mousse on a house-made baguette. And the caviar cracker with quail egg, red onion and carmelized white But the real star of the G2B snacks was a roasted Seven Springs pig head with chow-chow and Eastern NC-style barbecue sauce, served up on house-made rolls. We peeled back the dense fat on the pig’s cheek to find a layer of lean, tender pork for a mini-sandwich.

Pastry Chef Deric McGuffey prepared some beautiful desserts. I really enjoyed the caramelized white chocolate and beet cream tart with quince and black sesame and a sweet potato Bavarian “canolli.” Almost too pretty to eat!

G2B celebrated its grand opening on Jan. 24, with a packed house. Tarheel Taps & Corks enjoyed the chance to sample beer and food at G2B – I’ll have to come back for dinner soon!

three glasses of beer

Closer look at signature beers — Citra IPA, Porter, Rye Amber.

dessert plate

Desserts were almost too pretty to eat — paired with a taste of Smoked Paprika Pale Ale.